Friday, 24 July 2009

The Reading Lamp: Oregon kicks ass yet again


Gabe may not have much time to read his own books, but he always has time to read to his kidlet (see below) and to help his fellow Oregonians (Oreganos? I like it!) explore the rich literary scene right in their backyards with his Reading Local (Portland) site.

All you midwest, central, east coast, southern, hyper-northern, international, and other-wordly readers better start representing here on The Reading Lamp - otherwise, the west coasters are going too easily to be able to argue that the west coast is the best coast when it comes to being reading fiends. - Colleen

Your name:
Gabe Barber

What are you currently reading? My upstairs book is Life, Inc. by Douglas Rushkoff. The book I grab while I'm downstairs is Lost Dog by Bill Cameron.

Where are you reading them? I'm a bathroom reader. It's about the only alone time I get being a stay-at-home dad. Hope that's not too graphic...

What do you think of them so far? I have just started Lost Dog, so I can't really comment on that as of yet. But Life, Inc. is proving to be highly informative and scary at the same time. Rushkoff got the idea for the book after he posted to a community discussion board about getting mugged, and then receiving replies from other members of the community that he shouldn't post such things because they would detract from their home values.

He wanted to know how people got to the point where they cared more about the value of their homes than they did about a neighbor getting mugged. I'm sure that there are embellishments throughout the book in order to make the point, but I think the main message of the book shouldn't be lost.

How do you choose what to read next? Most of the time I will read a few books in a row that are all on the same topic. For instance, after I'm finished with Life Inc., I will probably read one or both of Naomi Klein's books. Or just recently, I read 1491 by Charles Mann, and then followed it up with Jared Diamond's books.

Do you generally borrow books or buy them? Why? I have to buy books, because I rarely if ever will read a book when I first bring it home. It usually sits on the shelves for awhile before I come back to it. This would be a quick way to rack up all kinds of overdue fees. Plus, I hope to have an expansive personal library at some point before I become ashes, so I will need a bunch of books to fill up all the shelves I envision having.

Favourite childhood book? I really loved My Side of the Mountain. In fact, it led to these elaborate plans to run away with a 6th grade friend into the mountains that surround my hometown of LaGrande, OR. Needless to say those plans were laid to rest when we realized there would be no MTV or recess involved.

Who do you talk to about books? I have a book group I organize as an extension of Reading Local, and we focus on books from local authors. As part of the group I try to get the author to attend, since they are local. This has been a great way to not only discuss the book at hand, but also to learn about the process that went into creating it, and any other books the authors have coming out.

If you'd like to be featured on The Reading Lamp, drop me an email at colleen AT bookphilia DOT com!

PS-I HAVE FINISHED HENRY JAMES!

7 comments:

Celine said...

Great interview and YEAY for finishing HJ!!!

Colleen said...

It was a great interview, wasn't it? Gabe, I hope you're paying attention here. :)

Gabe Barber said...

Celine/Colleen,
It was a wonderful interview, and experience! Thankfully Colleen put up with my tardy response to her great questions.

I would recommend any book lover take part in the Reading Lamp series. Just posted a link to the interview on my site. Keep up the fantastic work Colleen!

Rose City Reader said...

Another great interview!

I can't speak for the rest of the West Coast, but maybe we need to rename the Rose City as Book City USA or something?

helen said...

Gabe, your tops (pops) and Jaxon is too cute!

Colleen said...

I would like to live in Book City. Not the Toronto chains of bookstore, no. Book City, USA.

Nicole said...

Oreganos--as in, really officer, it's just oregano, I swear! Lol--definitely appropriate!

Great interview. I love your Reading Lamp series, it's fun to read about other bookish types!

Peace out, from another Book City USA Oregano blogger.